SBS Open-Kahuku HI-2009

February 10, 2009

Well, our first event is finally here and and I thought  leading off with a little “Who is he working for?” contest would be a fun way to start. No prize for the winner just the satisfaction of being a super sleuth. Anyone here is not allowed to give it away. That means you Dave!

First clue is: Her golf instructor is Oh, so good!

Sunday, the trip to paradise: Absolutely awful! That’s the only way I may describe my breakfast sandwich. I just had the Good Morning Delight at the Kokopelli Deli opposite gate 2, terminal 3 at Sky Harbor Airport. Slightly warm eggs on a cold croissant and a cold slice of cheese just doesn’t make it. The cheese never had a chance to melt and by the time I made it through the cashier, the eggs were cold also. Needless to say, I will not be taking a chance on anything else on their menu. Since I had a little time to spare, a Google search found this little gem about the health violations at Sky harbor restaurants. It included this little critique on were I just ate. –In October 2008, the Kokopelli Deli in Terminal 3 was cited after an employee “washed his hands then brushed his teeth with his fingers then went to work with food”. –

I flew over on Hawaiian almost without incident. A call came out looking to see if a doctor was on board as a passenger was in distress. The first thing I did and I bet many others also, was check my watch. We were 10 minutes from the half way point so I figured we wouldn’t be turning back. Emergency personnel met us when we landed and it didn’t look too serious. We arrived a few minutes late due to strong head winds.

Picked up my car from Thrifty and I snagged a super deal but a problem arose on the way to the North Shore. A rumbling noise and vibration permeated the cabin at 40 mph and above. I figured it had a bad tire but I was not about to turn around. Made it to our condo about two in the afternoon.


A rainbow departure to the “Rainbow State”

Time to meet: We had a 2:14 tee time but my player decided to start early. She was was on the 6th tee box when I arrived. We got to know each other during the remaining holes and finished in the moonlight.

Monday: We met at eight thirty and were done by five. It was almost all practice with very little chit-chat. Joined Anna Grzebien and Kim Hall on the front then Morgan Pressel took their place on the back. Turned out to be a very enlightining practice round.

Are You Ready For Some Football?

January 10, 2009

The playoffs are in full swing and for many of us, the couch or favorite easy chair will be the location where much of our time will be spent this weekend. But did you ever toss and turn all night wondering how they draw that magical yellow line that indicates the first down marker? Well, now you can go back to counting sheep. This video explains it all.

A little birdie told me: The home of the Phoenix tournament-Superstition Mountain Country Club- is in foreclosure. Must be the reason for the delay in putting it on the schedule. Hope this doesn’t mean another week off.

Light ’em if you got ’em: I don’t indulge myself but for all those who are curious on how your state ranks in percentage of smokers, average cost per pack and smoking bans, check out this interactive map at Up In Smoke.

He’ll keep an eye out for ya: Well, both actually. “A Texas death row inmate with a history of mental problems pulled out his only good eye and told authorities he ate it.” This was his remaining good eye because he had dispatched with the other in a similar manner earlier. Check out the gruesome details from

Loose it or else: “Imagine a country where the government regularly checks the waistlines of citizens over age 40. Anyone deemed too fat would be required to undergo diet counseling.” Is this what we have to look forward to? Check out how the Japanese government is putting the kibosh on “muffin tops” in the land of the rising Sun.

Shylock Holmes? A most suitable moniker for the CEO of British Airways in my estimation. They’ve hiked the interest rate on one of their credit cards to a whopping 46%! The Daily Mail has the details.


December 29, 2008

light_rail The long awaited Phoenix Valley Metro light rail is finally in operation and free transit is being offered till the end of the year. ‘Free’ was my cue to give it a try so I started at the Eastern most station in Tempe and headed downtown. It was standing room only as it seemed half the valley wished to check out the latest taxpayer funded ‘black hole’. I know this will raise the ire of all the ‘greenies’ out there but limits have to be set. At a cost of $1.4 billion for the 20 mile “starter section”, a massive fleet of propane powered buses covering a much larger area might have been a better idea. Of course, it would not have been as stylish.

Getting back to the trip, it was smooth as can be but the juke in the tracks, as we passed the ASU stadium, was taken a bit fast and had the standees grasping for a more secure hand-hold. I got off in midtown and walked a bit finally ending up in front of Chase Stadium but not before being harassed by a handful of “got any loose change” panhandlers. Maybe this was a blessing in disguise as I noticed many empty corners where a more clean-cut type may make a living. 😉

The ride back was just as packed but I was afforded an extra special Holiday treat when an alcohol soaked couple wedged themselves only feet from my very sensitive proboscis. Luckily, their malodorous aura was only to be endured for a few stops but the ear piercing vocalization of inane conversation emanating from the female bowling ball behind me lasted till the bitter end. All in all, this was pretty much what I expected from public transportation. Of course, the niceties of brand spanking new cars (sans graffiti) and stations free of the oh, so familiar reek of stale urine attributed to local ‘street urchins’ and litter deposited by the throngs of ‘caring public’ may never materialize and the ‘light rail utopia in the desert’ may be a model duplicated nationwide. Yeah, dream on!

Good-bye to good eats: A traditional stop for many on tour is no longer with us. Sorge’s Italian and American Restaurant, situated in Corning NY, is all but ashes after fire gutted this 57 year old landmark last Saturday. The Online Leader has all the details. The has an even more detailed pictorial. Everything will be served “well done” from now on I’ve heard.

A simple explanation: Trying to understand the financial mess we’re in and how the government is here to help, is a daunting endeavor to say the least but I found this on the Net that clears things up quite a bit.

Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He next announced that he would now buy monkeys at $20 each. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it! The man now announce d that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy on his behalf. In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: ‘Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.’ The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys for 700 billion dollars.

They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys!

Now you have a better understanding of how the WALL STREET BAILOUT PLAN WILL WORK !!

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel …

December 24, 2008

Here’s wishing you receive everything you want and want everything you receive.

Don’t forget: Danielle Ammaccapane’s daughter, Laura Ann Kesling, shares the big screen with Adam Sandler in the Disney release Bedtime Stories. It opens Christmas day.

“Ho Ho Ho! Death to the surveillance state! Free movement for all people!” That’s the message from four scallywag Santas who covered up some red light cameras in Tempe. One was encompassed with a box which looked like a wrapped present and to some in a hurry, I bet it was.

What’s next? Who knows? It may be the LPGA for Lana Lawless, the women’s winner in the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship . Only thing is, she used to be a 250 lb SWAT officer and a man to boot! Check out the details.

Big cut under the Bivens Christmas tree: 28% to be exact. According to this article in SportsBusiness Journal, it was her best year so far but was paid 190 grand less for the effort. Huh? Wonder how this contract written? Still, a half mil isn’t bad and she won’t be supping her Christmas meal at the Salvation Army food kitchen like me. Just kidding. Heard the local church will be serving perogies so I’ll be dining there instead. 🙂

Welcome to Phoenix

December 19, 2008

As the title indicates, I’ve settled in the Phoenix area. Chandler to be exact, near the 202 and S. Dobson Rd. I perused craigslist for a few days and after a couple visits to potential domiciles – including one where the owner shared one too many similarities with Norman Bates the psychotic killer from Psycho – I found a suitable place. A major perk is one of my roommates. Peaches is a petit, brown-eyed, feisty brunette who dotes on my every whim.


No ya don’t! She’s all mine.

My favorite airline: Called Aeromexico once more and found that using the agent to cash in my travel voucher was a piece of cake. Once the trip was ticketed, all I had to do was go to PHX and pay the tax which came to $108.14 plus another four bucks to park. Not bad for a round trip to Mexico City. I was assured a ticket agent would be there but no one was in sight when I arrived. That lit my fuse but calm eventually prevailed. A request to a baggage handler to help find an agent within the depths of the “back room” fell on deaf ears but someone did manage to peek out the door and I grabbed on to her like a leech looking for fresh blood. After a few minutes searching for the key to open the cash box, I had my reservation confirmed. Gracias amigos! 😉

Another one in the can: Next on the agenda was the condo in Hawaii at Turtle Bay. Got the same deal as last year. Also secured lodging for both Mexico events.

Good buy, at least for me: For the second time, my camera has gone on the fritz. With a few months still remaining on the extended warranty, it’s going in for repair. Looks as if the brains have gone haywire. Many consumer advocates eschew the extra cost of such a warranty, as most are pure profit for the retailer, but I’ve gone 4 for 4. Two laptops, a VCR and the camera all went bad and had to be fixed or replaced.

Heading West

December 11, 2008

Two days on the road and I’m in Texas. Sounds like the beginning of a country tune. Made it to Fort Worth.

Who needs presents? Just before leaving DeLand, I was treated to a Paolini family tradition that once was a fixture of my own clan. Home made sausage is what I’m talkin’ about and 100 lbs of this porcine paragon was scheduled to be made. Pork butt, salt and pepper are the only ingredients but my family added garlic to the mix for a little extra snap. A modern electric grinder has replaced the hand-crank variety and makes the labor intensive casing-stuffing much easier. I spelled Louie part way through which brought back some pleasant memories from the “Ghost of Christmas Past“.

Have any family traditions of your own you wish to share? Please pass them along in the comment section.


Mom and son. Ain’t that sweet!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow … My first day took me through one hellish rain storm but a slow and steady pace found me in Lafayette LA by nightfall. It was 40° and raining when I arrived but I didn’t expect to find this when I awoke the next day.


A blanket of white stuff covering my ride.

Back in the house: Joe Bonica (AKA Einstein) has returned from India with his new hip replacement. Everything went well except for one major side effect. He has an uncontrollable urge to open a 7-Eleven! Maybe a few Slurpees will do instead.

On My Way

December 9, 2008

Left Hobe Sound yesterday and now spending a couple days up in DeLand at Louie Paolini’s place. He has finally entered the digital age with his first laptop and I’m here to help set it up. My compass will be pointing West starting tomorrow.

Sill hate ’em! Aeromexico bumped me on my return flight from Mexico City back to Phoenix this year but ponied-up with a free travel voucher. Valid between those two cities only, I planned on booking next year’s trip once the schedule came out. Upon calling their reservation number, I was informed a trip to a ticket office would be necessary so I stopped in yesterday at the Orlando Airport to solidify the transaction. But to my surprise (not really) – and in keeping with the stellar non-customer service I’ve been used to dealing with –  the head honcho was unable to book the trip because it was too complicated and instructed me to use the 800 reservation number. These were the same people that told me to visit a ticket office!

Q-School: No surprise that Wie made it through. I wonder how many were waiting for another disaster to plague her career?

Biggest disappointment was the collapse of Carrie Wood. After having an exempt card all but wrapped up – especially after shooting a 35 on the front nine in the last round – she took 46 more blows on the back to leave with a big fat zero for the week.

Vikki Lange was DQ’d for signing an incorrect scorecard after the third round. This type of incredible miscue is no way to terminate such a long and difficult journey.

After axing her looper after a first round 78, Sun-Ju Ahn rehired him and followed up with a brilliant 68. It was all for naught though. She withdrew with an elbow injury.

Hye In lee was in town but did not tee it up. Don’t know why.

Nice to see the USA take the top spot but don’t know how much of a promotional factor Stacy Lewis will be for the LPGA. Heard she’s a fairly stoic individual.

My pick for a breakthrough in the coming year is Anna Grzebien. A fine Monday qualifying record and super Q-School tells you something about this girl. Not bad on the eyes either.

Black Friday

November 29, 2008

For the second consecutive year, I have succumbed to the unbelievable bargains and joined the legions of deal hunters, albeit not as many as expected, on one of the craziest buying days of the year. As of last week, no plans of rising early yesterday were foreseen but the recent demise of my MP3 player made it a necessity. After doing my homework, I had it narrowed down to the 4G Sansa Clip or the more upscale 4G Fuze by the same company. Fortunately, both were on sale at Best Buy which negated the need for running from store-to-store and made comparison simple. I managed to snag the second last Fuze – blue in color – and one of the more abundant Clips. As I eyed the growing check-out line, waiting around for my final decision to emerge didn’t seem logical so I left with both in hand. It didn’t take long after getting back to pick the Fuze. Even though it was bigger, the large color screen and navigation wheel were the deciding factors. The monetary difference was only $15 more and topped out at only $49.95. That was a super price for the 4G model. I’ll be returning the Clip at my first convenience.

After charging with the proprietary USB connector, all my music, podcasts and pictures synched without a hitch using Windows Media Player. Unfortunately, it also include my Three Stooges and Homer Simpson sound clips but they were easy to delete. A very rudimentary manual – if you call it that – was include but the interface was so intuitive it pretty much wasn’t necessary. Within minutes I was listening to my tech guru, Leo Laporte, and absorbing additional knowledge.

While I hit the road around 4:45, Rick was not too far behind. He hit Staples and Home Depot and picked up a few deals himself.

Blacker than most? I arrived at Best Buy a few minutes after the opening ‘land rush’ and it was evident the Mongol hordes were not as large as anticipated. It just didn’t seem that crowded. After conferring with one of the employees, he confirmed my observation. “Not even close to last year” he denoted. “The line was half way around the building.” Yesterday’s was only a couple hundred yards deep.

Back to work: Add two more repairs to my list. First I replaced the achor bolts that attach the toilet tank to the seat in the downstairs half bath. One was leaking and rusted the nut and no amount of penetrating fluid would free it. A mini hacksaw was needed to severe the bolt. Quite a chore in such a small space. The second started with just replacing a burned out bulb in the fixture above the dinette table. the mounting bracket was installed  incorrectly and it is a wonder the globe hadn’t come crashing down years ago.

Gone Fishin’

November 26, 2008

rick_peace_sign Rick treated me to a party boat fishing trip yesterday. Jupiter Inlet was our point of departure and the Blue Heron was our vessel of choice. It was ideal weather to spend a half day trip on the water and would been perfect if only the fish would have cooperated. Took us awhile to find the critters and when we did, it was just a handful. I managed to reel in the first one of the day – a Blue Runner I believe – and added another just before we finished but Rick’s run of luck seemed to have run its course. He was skunked. We also entered the ‘largest catch’ pool and raffle for a free fishing trip. I wasn’t close on the first but snagged the second. Gave it to Rick to be used when his luck returns.


A Ttanic pose by a titanic man.

ADT Championship

November 23, 2008


My host here in Hobe Sound, Rick “The Nerd”, came home with the gold. He was looping for Ji-Yai Shin. When asked what she would do with the cool million, Shin replied that a house in the US is at the top of the list but Rick has other plans for his piece of the pie. He’s dumping it all in GM stock. 😉

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